Navigation Links
Our 'caveman logic' embraces ESP over evolution
Date:7/8/2009

We see the face of the Virgin Mary staring up at us from a grilled cheese sandwich and sell the uneaten portion of our meal for $37,000 on eBay. We believe in ESP, ghosts, and angels over the scientific theory of evolution. While science offers a wealth of rational explanations for natural phenomena, we often prefer to embrace the fantasies that reassured our distant ancestors. And we'll even go to war to protect our delusions against those who do not share them.

These are examples of what evolutionary psychologist Hank Davis calls "Caveman Logic." Although some examples are funny, the condition itself is no laughing matter. In CAVEMAN LOGIC: THE PERSISTENCE OF PRIMITIVE THINKING IN A MODERN WORLD (Prometheus Books, $19.98), Davis encourages us to transcend the mental default settings and tribal loyalties that worked well for our ancestors back in the Pleistocene age. Davis laments a modern world in which more people believe in ESP, ghosts, and angels than in evolution. Superstition and religion get particularly critical treatment, although he argues that religion, itself, is not the problem but "an inevitable by-product of how our minds misperform."

"Caveman Logic is a whirlwind tour through the deeper recesses of our evolved mind. Hank Davis brings to bear cutting edge research from the cognitive sciences to reveal how mental tools designed to serve the needs of our ancient ancestors continue to exert an influence, both subtle and powerful, on human thought and behavior today," said John Teehan, Associate Professor of Religion, Hofstra University and author of In the Name of God: The Evolutionary Origins of Religious Ethics and Violence.

Davis says CAVEMAN LOGIC: THE PERSISTENCE OF PRIMITIVE THINKING IN A MODERN WORLD is the product of more than two decades of pondering, teaching and writing about "the powerful influence of irrational, delusional thinking that is anchored to our Pleistocene-era brain circuitry." He asserts that much of this primitive thinking is supported by modern social institutions. For example, a 2007 poll found that nearly 70 percent of Americans believe angels and demons are active forces in the world, while a 2009 survey concluded that only 39 percent believe in Darwin's theory of evolution. Even non-religious persons often thank God or "the heavens" in response to good news.

"Ways of thinking that were both reasonable and advantageous in caveman days become illogicaland potentially destructivewhen they are overextended to modern times," says Madeleine Van Hecke, author of Blind Spots: Why Smart People Do Dumb Things.

Maggie Jackson, author of Distracted: The Erosion of Attention and the Coming Dark Age adds, "Hank Davis reveals the deep roots of humanity's weakness for superstitions, blind assumptions and primitive thinking, and shows how we can start to overcome 'caveman logic.'"

Davis advocates a world in which "spirituality" is viewed as a dangerous rather than an admirable quality, and suggests ways in which we can overcome our innate predisposition toward irrationality. Davis points out that, "biology is not destiny." Just as some of us succeed in watching our diets, resisting violent impulses, and engaging in unselfish behavior, we can learn to use critical thinking and the insights of science to guide individual effort and social action in the service of our whole species.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jennifer Kovach
jkovach@prometheusbooks.com
800-853-7545
Prometheus Books
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Keck Foundation funds study of biological interactions with nanomaterials
2. New insight into the mechanisms of voltage sensing and transduction in biological processes
3. Book on weeds and invasive plants discusses how to manage them using ecological approaches
4. Microfossils disclose geologic history of eastern California
5. Entomological Society of America recognizes 2007 fellows and honorary members
6. Biogeochemistry -- A window into the Earths ecological health
7. Mellon awards Carnegie Grant for Ecological Monitoring in South Africa
8. Biological warfare: What do you need to know?
9. Entomological Society announces 2007 award winners
10. A mechanism to explain biological cross-talk between 24-hour body cycle and metabolism
11. Story ideas from the Journal of Biological Chemistry
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Our 'caveman logic' embraces ESP over evolution
(Date:4/5/2017)... 2017  The Allen Institute for Cell Science today ... one-of-a-kind portal and dynamic digital window into the human ... first application of deep learning to create predictive models ... and a growing suite of powerful tools. The Allen ... future publicly available resources created and shared by the ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... 2017  On April 6-7, 2017, Sequencing.com will host ... hackathon at Microsoft,s headquarters in Redmond, ... on developing health and wellness apps that provide a ... Genome is the first hackathon for personal genomics ... companies in the genomics, tech and health industries are ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... 2017  Catholic Health Services (CHS) has been ... (HIMSS) Analytics for achieving Stage 6 on the ... In addition, CHS previously earned a place in ... electronic medical record (EMR). "HIMSS Analytics ... EMR usage in an outpatient setting.  This recognition ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... For the second time in ... STEM Mentoring Award. Representatives of the FirstHand program travelled to Washington, D.C. Tuesday, ... , US2020’s mission is to change the trajectory of STEM education in America ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... SomaGenics announced the receipt of a Phase ... (Single Cell), expected to be the first commercially available ... from single cells using NGS methods. The NIH,s recent ... development of approaches to analyze the heterogeneity of cell ... for measuring levels of mRNAs in individual cells have ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... 9, 2017  BioTech Holdings announced today identification ... its ProCell stem cell therapy prevents limb loss ... Company, demonstrated that treatment with ProCell resulted in ... as compared to standard bone marrow stem cell ... in reduction of therapeutic effect.  ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... 09, 2017 , ... The Giving Tree Wellness Center announces ... needs of consumers who are incorporating medical marijuana into their wellness and health ... As operators of two successful Valley dispensaries, The Giving Tree’s two founders, Lilach ...
Breaking Biology Technology: